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The source of the River Cray begins in Priory Gardens in Orpington
through Sidcup and into Crayford and then finally into the River
Darent near the Dartford Marshes.
The route of the river takes it through many urban areas which will
most certainly add pollution to the water. The river is a low lying
river and is also a first order stream.
To investigate the downstream changes of pollution in the river Cray.
* Due to the surroundings of the river, I believe that there will be
increased pollution downstream
* The level of oxygen will decrease downstream
* There will be a higher biotic index nearer the source
Justification of Hypothesis
* There are areas surrounding the river that are very urban and so
have many cars fumes and other types of pollution which can be
easily transferred into the river. As you can see from Map 1, the
route of the river Cray follows closely to that of the A224 and
A223. This would mean that there are many cars as well as general
pollution form the public. Pedestrians walking along the river
side into fields surrounding the river such as in five arches can
drop litter into the river polluting it further.
* When a river is polluted there will be more bacteria within it. As
bacteria are organisms, they need oxygen to survive. This will
therefore mean that the more pollution there is, the more bacteria
there will also be and so the less oxygen there will be available
as it will be used by the bacteria.
How to Cite this Page
"The Downstream Changes of Pollution in the River Cray." 123HelpMe.com. 09 Dec 2019
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related to the temperature of the river also, as the amount of
oxygen able to dissolve in water, decreases with increasing
* The biotic index relates to the different types of invertebrate
that are present in the river. The number and what type of
invertebrate there are depends on how much oxygen there is. The
biotic index shows that the cleaner the water, the more
invertebrates there will be. The type of invertebrate in the water
will also indicate how clean the water is, for instance if there
are lot's of the Rat Tailed Maggot in the river, it shows that it
is polluted as they only live in polluted water.
The data for the study is going to be collected along a number of
sites along the river channel, in total there will be 10 sites.
Choosing the sites to collect the data can be chosen in several ways:
This is where sites are chosen using completely random methods, such
as random numbers from a calculator. These numbers will relate to
points along the river and this is where data collection will take
This sampling technique is less biased as the sites are chosen by
deciding that data is to be collected a fixed distance along the river
each time, such as every 10 meters along the river.
This method of sampling requires you to think of where pollution would
affect the river the most along its course and chose prime areas along
the river that will provide above average data.
I decided to choose systematic sampling as this would provide the most
unbiased results as I would collect data at regular intervals. This
created a slight problem as some of the sites I chose were unreachable
as they were on private land or part of a sewage system. this meant
that I had to carry on as close to the original site I chose, but was
not the exact point.
In order to collect the results I first needed to create a site map.
On this map I systematically plotted the sites I was going to visit,
approximately 2cm apart on the map. This then provided me with a guide
to where I should collect all of my data and also made sure that they
were collected fairly.
In order to test my hypothesis I needed to collect a variety of data.
Some results were found on site, these included, temperature,
velocity, pH, Nitrates and the biotic index, while others had to be
found in the classroom using samples of water collected on the day,
such as oxygen levels, phosphate levels and the amount of ammonia in
To collect the temperature I needed to hold a thermometer in the river
for 10 seconds. This would enable the temperature of the water to take
full effect on the thermometer.
The velocity of the river is how fast the water travels downstream. I
collected this data using a flow meter. I had to place the rod with
the fan on it in the river and record how fast the propeller took to
move down the rod. The propeller needed to be faced upstream as to
have the full effect of the river flowing downstream.
Measuring the pH levels tell me how alkaline or acidic the river is.
The optimum level for the river would be if it had a pH of 7, this
means that the river is neither alkaline nor acidic and so is neutral.
I measured the pH level using a pH strip. This strip was dipped into
the river for one second. The strip then changed colour and a colour
chart was used to distinguish how acidic or alkaline the river is.
Nitrates are chemicals that enter the river either through farming
practices or traffic along the roads in urban areas. To test the water
for Nitrates, I needed to take a nitrate stick and place it in the
water for one second. I then let this dry off for a minute or two. The
end of the nitrate stick should have changed colour from white to a
purpler colour. The shade of the purple determines the concentration
of nitrates in the water and can be measured using the colour chart
provided with the nitrate sticks.
The biotic index required me to collect a sample of invertebrate at
each site. I collected this data by performing a kick test. Firstly a
net had to be placed in the channel so that anything travelling
downstream will get caught in the net. I then proceeded to kick the
river bed, dislodging any material or species from the bed and into
the net. This had to be carried out for 3 minutes to get the full
effect. The contents of the net were then poured onto a white tray
filled with 2 centimetres of water to cater for the invertebrates the
type and amount of each individual species then needed to be counted.
The invertebrates are then checked against a chart and a result is
Due to the complicatedness of the oxygen, phosphate and ammonia tests,
these needed to be tested back in the classroom. In order for the
results to be fair, a water sample from each site needed to be
collected so that the results all coincided. To collect the water
sample an empty bottle of water no smaller than 500ml was emptied,
rinsed out and water from the river was then collected in this bottle.
A water sample from each site visited was collected as each site
needed these last three tests top be carried out.
To ensure that all the results coincide with each other and have been
fairly collected, all data was collected on the same day. This ensured
that the results were not affected by weather or varying rates of
pollution on different days.
Biotic Index Score
90+80+61+46+40+28 = 345
90+80+70+48+40 = 328
92+70+48+40+33+30 = 313
92+90+61+55+46+30 = 374
84+70+48+40+30+17 = 289
84+65+44+40+33+17 = 283
65+33+30+25+24+13+12 = 202
70+48+40+33+17 = 208
33+25+24+13+12 = 107
33+25+20+13+12 = 103
The spearman rank test it used to find if there is any significance of
two sets of results. This enables us to discover if two sets of data
collected are linked in to the health of the river. In this test I
will be finding the significance between the level of oxygen in the
river and the temperature of the river.
As the oxygen levels increase the biotic index score will decrease.
Biotic Index Score
R = 1 - 6xÎ£dÂ²
r = 1 - 6x216
r = 1 - 1296
r = 1 - 1.3
r = -0.3
The way the rank spearman result is interpreted, is if the end value
comes out as -1, this means that there is a strong negative
relationship between the two sets of data and if the result is +1,
there is a strong relationship. My end result was -0.3, this shows
that there is a weak negative correlation. This means that it is not
statistically significant that as oxygen is lower the biotic index is
Analysis of Photos
The source - Priory Gardens
This was my first site and was at the source of the River Cray. As you
can see from the photo, there is very little pollution and the
presence of wildlife also indicates this as they would feed on the
other life in the water. There is only one piece of pollution in the
picture and that was caused by humans. Priory Gardens is a small park
area and is available for use by the public at all times so has the
potential to become polluted, but careful management prevents this.
Site 2 -